News - Real Estate - General (February
New immigration rules announced by Britain
THE United Kingdom (UK) government has
announced new immigration and asylum regulations, some of which are likely to
affect Jamaicans living, studying or planning to migrate to that country.
The new regulations, over time, will include
the fingerprinting of all who apply for a visa.
Home Secretary in the UK, Charles Clarke, who
outlined the Government's five-year strategy for asylum and immigration last
week, said it sets out a wide-ranging plan to ensure that only those who were
eligible could work or study there, and that it would crack down on abuse and
The new immigration strategy include:
A new points system for persons applying to
work or study in the UK: the scheme will consist of four new tiers - highly
skilled, skilled, low skilled and student/specialist (such as football players).
Points will be adjusted to respond to changes in Britain's labour market.
Financial bonds, where necessary, for specific
categories where there has been evidence of abuse. This will be refundable only
on return to country of origin.
Ending chain migration by limiting family
migration: this brings to an end the practice where immigrants in the UK can
bring in their dependents, who can, in turn, sponsor other family members.
Ending appeals: the Government has already
reduced the number of times an asylum seeker can appeal against a decision, and
will now extend this to migration routes by abolishing appeals for those seeking
to enter the UK to work or study.
Clarke said while the UK recognised that
tourists, students and migrant workers make a vital contribution to the UK
economy, his government needed to ensure that "we let in migrants with the
skills and talents to benefit Britain, while stopping those trying to abuse our
hospitality and place a burden on our society."
Under the new regime, there will be no
automatic right to stay in the UK for lower skilled workers and students. They
will have to leave when their visas expire.
Only skilled workers who support themselves
financially can apply to stay permanently after five years, an increase on the
current four, and they will be required to speak and write English.
Clarke said that as part of the continued
drive against illegal workers, the Government would introduce a £2,000 fixed
penalty fine for employers for each illegal worker.